The song of the day for Thursday, October 8, 2020, is “Revolvin’ Jones.”
About This Song
“Revolvin’ Jones” was written in 1940 by Willard Robison. Other well-known Robison songs include “A Cottage For Sale” and “Don’t Smoke in Bed.” In American Popular Song, Alec Wilder wrote:
Everybody loved him and many tried to help him, among them John Mercer. Mildred Bailey revered him and sang every song of his she could lay her hands on. I became aware of him in the late twenties when he recorded for Perfect Records. He did manage, during his almost euphoric life, to write a few successful songs, but generally, his songs were known only to a few singers and lovers of the off-beat and the non-urban song. He had a special flair for gentleness and childhood, the lost and the religious. I suppose it’s not part of the growth of popular music, nor perhaps were any of Robison’s songs. But if they could so much bolster John Mercer’s conviction that there was more to write lyrics about than city life, that the world of memory, of remembered sayings and scenes, was as evocative as the whispered words of lovers, then he did make a contribution.
Today I was listening to Diana Krall’s new album, This Dream Of You, which includes a lovely rendition of “Don’t Smoke In Bed” and so I decided to feature this song by Willard Robison.
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded “Revolvin’ Jones” for the album On The Glory Road, which was all set for release in 1962: it had been manufactured and was ready to ship, but Columbia canceled the release at the very last minute. Some of the songs on the album were included on subsequent albums. Thankfully, the album was included in the 2011 Complete Collection box set.
Ralph Sharon wrote the arrangement.
“Revolvin’ Jones,” as well as On The Glory Road, is available from Apple Music.